The controversy generated over a statement from former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida on Sunday expressing the need for a new crop of leaders for Nigeria from 2019 has taken a new twist.

The former military leader has finally spoken on the controversy around the statement.

In the statement well-circulated in the media on Sunday, the retired military ruler, better known as IBB, asked Nigerians to have patience with President Muhammadu Buhari till his tenure ends in 2019.

He also harped on the need to have a new breed of leaders.

But shortly after that statement signed on his behalf by Kassim Afegbua, his spokesman, was made public, a counter-statement was released.

The new statement denied some of the critical issues raised in the previous one, saying IBB had “unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities”.

Less than 24 hours later, IBB – who is popularly referred to as Maradona, due to his long history of taking conflicting positions on important matters – recanted again.

He spoke with Thisday newspaper, insisting that  his original statement still stands”.

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He now claims that the second statement was issued by friends and had nothing to do with him, but expressed concern that his initial statement issued by his media aide,  Kassim Afegbua, had been misrepresented by the media.

According to him, what his statement titled, “Towards a National Rebirth,” emphasised was for a new breed of leadership to emerge through the electoral process, but was not intended to deny President Muhammadu Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for in the 2019 elections.

There are reports that the second statement which was signed in Babangida’s name was actually issued and signed by his son, Mohammed, who preferred a toned down version.

When Babangida got wind of the second version, he reportedly instructed Afegbua to reach out to media houses reaffirming the validity of the first statement.

READ IBB’s first statement HERE.

READ IBB’s second statement HERE.